Tag Archives: Sewing Classes

Christmas Gift Making at MIY Workshop!

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Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts – The Roehampton Culottes

roehampton culottes

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DIY Bobbin Holder

diy bobbin holder

Do you have to fight your way through a tangled nest of threads at the bottom of a box or drawer every time you need a bobbin?

Life’s too short, find some toe dividers and make your own bobbin holders! Keeps your bobbins neat, tidy, you can see what colour thread is on them and they then fit easily into your portable sewing kit. Lots of my MIY Workshop students have started bringing bobbins to class like this.

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A Tour of MIY Workshop

If you’re even half as nosey as I am you’ll like this.

Here’s a short video from my YouTube channel that gives you a little peek inside MIY Workshop where I teach all my classes and do my sewing. As I  don’t have space for a sewing machine at home, all the magic happens here!

 

Saturday Sewing Classes – Weekly From 11th June at MIY Workshop!!

Saturday sewing classes brighton

Yes, you read that right, from Saturday 11th June you can sew every Saturday at MIY Workshop. Full details here.

2016 Master Classes Now Open For Booking!!

MIY Workshop Master Classes

My new timetable of Master Classes for 2016 at MIY Workshop is now open for booking.

There are some old favourites along with some new classes and something for all abilities whether you’re a nervous beginner wanting to just learn how to use a sewing machine or a more experienced stitcher that just can’t get to grips with sewing knits.

Full details on the MIY Workshop website here.

Styling & Sewing Talk at MIY Workshop

Yesterday’s first Styling talk by Clary Fisher was a great success.  Even I left feeling inspired to organise a capsule wardrobe free of “wardrobe irritants” and one of our attendees Michala went home and spent 6 hours decluttering her wardrobe, putting unworn clothes into vac pack storage, collecting clothes for her local charity shop and making herself a pile of alterations to get stitching!

Here are a few snapshots of Clary and her engrossed audience…

stylingtalk2An on-the-spot interactive bit where Clary looked at unworn items that people had brought in to try to identify how they could be changed to become well-worn items!

stylingtalk1And focussed concentration while Clary talked about all the other aspects in addition to clothes – like hair, make-up and shoes and showed the group a collection of inspiring items from her own wardrobe that she has altered and adapted to make work for her.

Everyone took away some food for thought from the session and some inspired enthusiasm to go through their wardrobes with a fresh eye.  For me the key take-home ideas were:

  • balance – styling isn’t necessarily about hiding or disguising parts of yourself, rather about balancing everything out – as Clary reminded us “the eye reads beauty in symmetry”
  • editing – you’re not going to feel your best in every colour, shape or style, so you need to edit your wardrobe
  • focussed shopping, rather than impulse shopping – go shopping with a clear idea of what you’re looking for and research where you’re most likely to find it rather than dashing round the shops like a headless chicken and finishing up feeling frustrated and unsatisfied
  • be objective and start looking at your clothes (and those you try on in shops and sewing patterns and fabric you buy) objectively or with a trusted friend and step out of your comfort zone  – try on shapes and colours you wouldn’t normally go for and in shops that aren’t on your usual shopping route
  • shop less but better
  • make your clothes work for you – if garments in your wardrobe aren’t being worn, what can you change easily to make them into well-worn favourites?

As all of the above also applies to the clothes you sew and with this last point in mind myself and Clary are running a joint workshop in September.  Full details are below.  You don’t need to be a tailoring expert – with just a few sewing skills, some personalised styling advice and some sewing guidance and inspiration you can change those wardrobe-cluttering unworn garments into your new favourite outfits……

Let’s start thoughtful sewing and thoughtful shopping.

STYLING FLYER July14

To discount or not to discount?

A few months ago I was the lucky recipient of a (faintly disguised) sales call from one of those big group discounting/voucher companies.  When the very chatty man finally got to the point – that they would like me on their website in return for me offering discounts on my classes that they could take a slice of – I told him that I didn’t do discounts.  There was a short, not very chatty silence before the sales man asked why not, couldn’t understand why I didn’t discount and actually asked me how I get customers if I dont?!

I’ve been mulling over that conversation on and off since.  It’s that time of year where we’re bombarded with sales on the high street as all the big high street multiples seem to have given up on summer ever arriving and everyone loves a bargain, including me.  However, some bargains come at a cost which isn’t always  obvious.

I spend time methodically calculating my prices and they represent the true cost of running the class or workshop, plus a profit.  They’re fair, they’re not based on other people’s prices and there’s no room for a third party to take a cut.  I’m aware of the “market” price for classes obviously, and I know that I’m not the cheapest, but neither am I the most expensive.

I never discount my goods or services and I never will do.  It’s not part of my business model.  If you come to a class, workshop, hire session or one-to-one class with me, there is one price advertised and it’s the price that everyone pays.

I know how annoyed I would be if I had booked a workshop that I really wanted to do weeks in advance, to then find myself sitting next to someone who got it half price because they saw it on a discount website.  I don’t think that would be fair and that’s just how I like to do business.

Another successful Skirt Making Workshop

I had a lovely group of eager students on Sunday and one sadly stuck in London.

After a really focussed day of hard work………

……..and noises of surprise from the students when they saw how impressive their skirts were turning out, this is what we had:

Pretty impressive aren’t they?  None of these students had made anything from a pattern before, in fact one of them only learned how to use her sewing machine at one of my weekly sewing classes last week!

An a-line skirt really is a great first project for anyone new to sewing.  The shape looks good on almost everyone and it’s a quick garment to make which is easy to get to fit well.  These students are inspired to make more with their new found sewing, zip inserting and faced hemming skills!

Here’s what they thought of the day in their own words:

What did you enjoy most?

“Everything – Wendy is a great teacher.”

“Teacher not in a hurry and allowed me to go at my own speed. Feeling more confident using sewing machine.”

“Class size, learning the ‘proper’ way to put in zips, etc.”

Any other comments?

“Really recommend and a brilliant day out.”  And that from the student who had been given the workshop for her birthday!

New Sunday workshop dates at MIY Workshop

I’ve now finished planning my Sunday workshops covering July to December and here they are!  There’s some popular workshops that I’m repeating and a couple of brand new ones.

Email me at miyworkshop[at]gmail.com or ring me on 01273 693451 or 775951 to book a place.

Sunday 1st July – Skirt Making Workshop                                                   Want to learn to sew?  Fancy a new skirt?  Want to make a present for a friend?  Come to this one day intensive workshop and learn some sewing basics whilst making an A-line skirt.  This workshop will teach you the basics of reading a pattern (pattern provided, no need to buy one!) and using a sewing machine.  Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm.
  • £45

Sunday 15th July – How to use your Sewing Machine                      Another date for this popular workshop.  The day is aimed at beginners to find your way around a sewing machine including; different stitches, changing the tension, the different settings, cleaning, changing needles, changing feet, threads, using different fabrics and of course threading and sewing!

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 11am to 3pm.
  • £35

Sunday 5th August – Sewing Workshop                                                       Want to come to a sewing class but can’t commit to a weekly session?            Come to this Sunday workshop and sew away to your heart’s content. Suitable for absolute beginners who want a kick start to their new sewing habit or more experienced sewers who want a bit more time to focus on a specific project.   Bring along a project you’re working on or would like to start and we’ll take it from there.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 11am to 4pm.
  • £40

Sunday 19th August – Sewing with Knits                                                            A combination of the winter and summer versions of this workshop depending on what you want to make!  Sewing with stretchy jersey fabrics can be tricky on a domestic sewing machine, so at this workshop I’ll show you the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics.  I’ll provide you with a choice of winter and summer patterns specifically designed for jersey fabrics for you to whip up something to wear by the end of the day. All you need to bring is some jersey fabric of your choice and matching thread.                                                                                         This workshop is not suitable for complete beginners.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm.
  • £45

Sunday 16th September – Pattern Cutting Workshop                              Not sure if pattern cutting is for you?  Try this one day intensive workshop, suitable for beginners and students who have previously drafted skirt or trouser patterns.  At this workshop beginners will draft a skirt block and pattern and make a skirt toile (sample).  Students who have done some pattern cutting before will draft a trouser block and make a trouser toile.  Students who have previously drafted a trouser block with me will draft a one-piece dress block.

  • Class size limited to 4 people.
  • 11am to 4pm.
  • £40

Sunday 30th September – How to use your Sewing Machine       Another date for this popular workshop.  The day is aimed at beginners to find your way around a sewing machine including; different stitches, changing the tension, the different settings, cleaning, changing needles, changing feet, threads, using different fabrics and of course threading and sewing!

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 11am to 3pm.
  • £35

 Sunday 14th October – **NEW WORKSHOP** How to use an Overlocker                                                                                                                   Have you bought an overlocker that’s still living in its box?!  Are you thinking about buying an overlocker?  A day aimed at people confident in using a sewing machine and new to overlockers.  We’ll cover the basics of; threading, balancing the tensions, sewing techniques for overlockers and using different fabrics.  There is an overlocker to rent at MIY Workshop and that can be used in the weekly sewing classes – you must have completed this workshop before being let loose on it!

  • Class size limited to 4 people.
  • 11am to 3.30pm.
  • £45

Sunday 28th October – **NEW WORKSHOP** Perfecting the Details Want to know how to sew the perfect pocket or make a beautiful bound buttonhole?  Getting the details right can be the difference between your sewing looking home-made or professional.  At this workshop we’ll focus on making beautiful samples of – bound buttonholes, welt pockets, jet pockets, collars and zips.                                                                                                                                    This workshop is not suitable for complete beginners.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 11am to 4pm.
  • £40

Sunday 11th November – Sewing with Knits                                                      A combination of the winter and summer versions of this workshop depending on what you want to make!  Sewing with stretchy jersey fabrics can be tricky on a domestic sewing machine, so at this workshop I’ll show you the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics.  I’ll provide you with a choice of winter and summer patterns specifically designed for jersey fabrics for you to whip up something to wear by the end of the day. All you need to bring is some jersey fabric of your choice and matching thread.                                                                                         This workshop is not suitable for complete beginners.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm.
  • £45

Sunday 18th November – **NEW WORKSHOP** Sewing for Babies & Children                                                                                                                        Want to make clothes for your kids?  Want to make a gift for a new baby?  Choosing what to make for babies and kids can be tricky – small clothes often means tricky details.  At this workshop I’ll have a selection of simple patterns for clothes and accessories suitable for babies from birth to 18m and for kids from 2-6y.  All you need to bring is your fabric and thread.                                            This workshop is not suitable for complete beginners.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm.
  • £45

Sunday 9th December – Cool Cushions                                                 Cushions don’t have to be boring!  Cushion covers can be a great first project for beginner sewers and provide a blank canvas for more experienced sewers to explore new techniques.  At this workshop you’ll learn the basics of cushion making and we’ll move on to ways of making them a bit more interesting by adding piping, using recycled fabrics and customising with easy appliqué (I’ll provide you with some stencils to use) and pompoms.  Great for presents or to add a splash of colour to your own place.                                                           Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.


  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 11am to 4pm.
  • £40

Sunday 16th December – Sewing Workshop                                              Want to come to a sewing class but can’t commit to a weekly session?            Come to this Sunday workshop and sew away to your heart’s content. Suitable for absolute beginners who want a kick start to their new sewing habit or more experienced sewers who want a bit more time to focus on a specific project.  Bring along a project you’re working on or would like to start and we’ll take it from there.

  • Class size limited to 5 people.
  • 11am to 4pm.
  • £40